Stephen Franks blogs:
An unknown number of candidate profile electorate booklets have been circulated with pages missing.
The mistakes seem likely to affect the result of the elections in affected areas, even if the number of booklets circulated is small, if the missing pages were concentrated in those areas;
Affected candidates could have a right to a new election;
Officials are downplaying the seriousness of the problem.
We’ve been instructed by a public spirited client to help shine a light on the problem. He’s instructed us to offer rewards for the necessary evidence. The announcement is set out below.
If it turns out that few deficient booklets were circulated, he will be relieved. He’ll feel this exercise will have been worth the expense, just for the reassurance that New Zealand is not as far toward casual corruption as he fears. It will be worth it to know that a cover-up is not underway.
I agree missing pages in an electorate booklet is not a minor issue. The chances of getting elected if your profile is missing will be dramatically reduced.
Wellington specialist public law firm Franks & Ogilvie will pay rewards and prizes for whistle-blowers to establish the scale of the local election booklet botch-up. A client who wishes to remain anonymous will fund the prizes and rewards.
“The client is appalled by what he fears is an official cover-up” said Stephen Franks, a principal of the public law specialist firm. “Candidates and people helping them face prison for breaching even trivial electoral rules without proof that the breach would change a single vote. Across the country hundreds of elected positions may be determined by a few votes.”
In Auckland alone, at the last election a number of local board positions were decided on margins of less than 10 votes, and the margin for election to Council was as low as 253 votes.” …
Delivery of booklets with relevant pages missing will earn $1500 for the person who delivers most before 5pm Monday 7 October, $600 for the next most, and $400 for the third most. Please send to Franks & Ogilvie, PO Box 10388, Wellington.
The prizes will be paid only to collectors willing to give evidence if necessary, as to how they collected them.
Each booklet must be certified by the person who provides it to the collector, that it has not been mutilated or otherwise materially changed from the condition in which it was distributed, and that person must add their name and address where they received the booklet and contact email or phone number.
So if you have received a botched booklet, send them in and earn some money.Tags: Local Electoral Act, Stephen Franks